Funds will enable Israel to restock its depleted supply of interceptor missiles.
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
The U.S. House of Representatives approved $1 billion in supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome system on Wednesday, ending months of political gridlock.
The funds will enable Israel to restock its supply of interceptor missiles, which were depleted by the 11-day Gaza war of May 2021.
The funding was part of a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill that will keep the federal government operating. Other provisions in the bill include $3.8 billion in annual defense funds for Israel, $250 million in grants for synagogue security and $6 million to assist aging Holocaust survivors.
The spending package now goes to the Senate, which is expected to give its approval in the coming days.
During last year’s Gaza war, Hamas fired some 4,400 rockets at Israel, of which 90 percent were intercepted by the Iron Dome.
However, Iran has been helping Hamas re-arm. And Hezbollah possesses an estimated 150,000 missiles in Lebanon.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett thanked Congress for its “overwhelming commitment to Israel’s security and for passing the critical security package — including the replenishment of the life-saving Iron Dome.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the bill will “allow us to better defend our citizens,” and thanked President Joe Biden “for his uncompromising support.”
Congressional approval for the supplemental funds stalled in September when progressive Democrats known as “The Squad” threatened to withdraw their support for a debt-hike bill to keep the federal government operating. The Squad objected to the bill’s inclusion of the Iron Dome allocations.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) and Democratic leaders capitulated and the bill was passed without the supplemental funding.
Days later, the House overwhelmingly approved the funding in a separate bill. But it was held up in the Senate, this time by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), who demanded the funds be offset by cuts elsewhere.
The omnibus spending bill also includes more than $13 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine and nearby European allies.